A Story of Maine in 112 Objects: From Prehistory to Modern Times
Founded in 1836, the Maine State Museum is America’s oldest state museum and is known to many as “Maine’s Smithsonian” because of the breadth and diversity of its holdings―nearly a million objects covering every aspect of the state’s cultural, biological, and geological history―and the thousands of stories its collections tell. For this book the museum selected and photographed 112 artifacts and specimens that, together, tell an epic story of the land and its people from prehistoric times to the present.
It is a story covering 395 million years, a story told with a walrus skull and fossils, tourmaline and spear points, mammoth tusks and bone fishhooks, Norse coins and caulking irons, militia flags and survey stakes, treaty documents and wooden tankards, a temperance banner and a locomotive, Joshua Chamberlain’s pistol and a cod tub trawl, a Lombard log hauler and a woman’s WWII welding outfit, L. L. Bean boots and German POW snowshoes, and many more objects from the museum’s collections. Short narratives written by museum curators are woven around each item―including photos of related objects―and the ensemble has been honed, polished, and introduced by museum director Bernard Fishman.
This is a book that historians and Maine residents and visitors will delve into again and again, unearthing new treasures with each reading.